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August 20, 2014
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The Complete Tangler

And now… the answers to Clem’s annual quiz

1. Bobby Thomson almost became the “goat” in the third 1951 playoff game because early in the game with Whitey Lockman on first, Thomson singled to left. He dashed past first without hesitating, only to find that the third base coach had held Lockman at second base. The giants found themselves with two men on second base, killing a giant rally. That was really dumb base running on Thomson’s part.

2. The three umpires pictured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, painted by Norman Rockwell, who were contemplating calling a rain delay, were Larry Goetz, Lou Jordan and Beans Reardon.  Read more

The quiz

What is that sound I hear? Can it be the “thuck” of a fastball hitting a catcher’s mitt? Is it the crack of a wooden bat hitting that round, white orb with the red stitching? Why indeed it is. A new baseball season is upon us. It is time for me to loosen up my old pitching arm. Hopefully, I will be able to send these woeful batters back to their team bench hitless, their bats silent.

So, play ball! Step up to the plate batter. Here comes my first pitch. This will be a 90-mile-an-hour fastball, just under your chin whiskers. It’s good to put a little fear into a batter’s mind.  Read more

‘I shot an arrow into the air….’

The unexpected results of writing this column continue to surprise me. People sometimes approach me at the Callicoon Farmers’ Market to praise or reproach me for words I have written. Sometimes the phone will suddenly ring. Once, it was a lady who said she had been a long time friend of John McDonald, the author of the book “Quill Gordon.” She wanted to thank me about something I had written regarding McDonald. I just never know what reaction a given column will produce.  Read more

Two flies

Some fly fishers have come into possession of a particular fly pattern via an unexpected opportunity. They value that fly above all others. In fact, Barbara Ann has two such flies. However, her flies have never been tied onto a tippet, nor have they ever floated cockily on any currents tempting trout.  Read more

First Trout

In the year 1936, my parents built a small bungalow in what was then rural Putnam County, NY. It was mostly used as a weekend retreat. Once bass season opened, my father would often go off fishing early every Saturday morning. How I wished to be taken along. I was always told that I was too young. Of course, when something is denied, it becomes even more desired. When I was 11, my father gave me an old bamboo rod, equipped with a Shakespeare “Wonder Reel.” He suggested I use this rod to fish for trout in the Peekskill Hollow Brook. Yippee!  Read more

The patient survived

As I write this column, I find myself housebound. My right knee is sore and aching. This is the result of having knee surgery to correct the severe arthritis in that joint. While the nurses at both Baylor Hospital and the Continuum Rehabilitation Hospital took excellent care of me, I am glad to be sleeping in my own bed once again. On the 12th of December, my surgeon, Dr. Pat Peters, removed the staples from the wound. He assured me that I appeared to be on the road to full recovery. It will take weeks of rehabilitation before I reach that goal.  Read more

Time flies when you are having fun

Some random thoughts from a fellow who, on November 10, was married to his petite fishing partner for 65 years. Whew!  Read more

It’s now over

On October 2, Jim Graham and I took one last trip to the Willowemoc Creek in Sullivan County. We fished the “Finkelstein” water. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has done a fine job of rehabilitating this access that had been slowly eroding into the river. The right-hand bank is now armored with large boulders that will protect it in periods of high water. Unfortunately, the DEC seems to have used heavy equipment to create a very wide, shallow area right at the access. Hopefully the Willowemoc will rearrange this area as it pleases during the next high-water flows.  Read more

A Bamboo ferrule?

The annual gathering of the world’s bamboo rod makers has come and gone. In my last column, I wrote that I had no intention of buying yet another bamboo fly rod. Despite having the opportunity to cast several fine rods from various rod builders, I did not weaken. There is no new slender silver tube residing in the rod rack built for me by Tom Brown.  Read more

A Bamboo ferrule?

The annual gathering of the world’s bamboo rod makers has come and gone. In my last column, I wrote that I had no intention of buying yet another bamboo fly rod. Despite having the opportunity to cast several fine rods from various rod builders, I did not weaken. There is no new slender silver tube residing in the rod rack built for me by Tom Brown.  Read more